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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh, God, It's Present-Buying Season. Quick, Buy Everyone Cookbooks.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 7:30 AM

This isn't on anyone's list yet, but we'd still recommend it.

Piling on the retailers of America, who would like all red-blooded Americans, Christian or no, to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the food media has come out with a strong message to shoppers: Buy cookbooks for Christmas.


Since Thanksgiving, lists of 2011's best cookbooks have been pouring onto the Internet, fast-forwarding the media's normal end-of-year bestifying so you still have time to purchase these recommendations for yourself for Christmas, and possibly a loved one if you're feeling generous.

SFoodie has been compiling our own list of best-cookbooks-of-the-year lists, since many of them include books from Bay Area authors and publishers. Most of these books will be available locally at the Booksmith, Green Apple Books, and Omnivore Books, all of which have great cooking sections.

Here are the best lists to date. We'll add to our meta-list this week as more appear:

Publishers' Weekly lifestyle books of 2011

Local pick: Mourad Lahlou's Mourad: New Moroccan

The New York Times' notable cookbooks of 2011

Local picks: Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz's Mission Street Food, Mitchell Rosenthal's Cooking My Way Back Home, Paula Wolfert's The Food of Morocco

San Francisco Chronicle's booze-book picks

Local pick: Charles Neal's Calvados: The Spirit of Normandy

Serious Eats' cookbooks of the year

Local pick: Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty (publisher: Chronicle Books)*

Punk Domestics' favorite DIY books of 2011

Local pick: Karen Solomon's Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It

U.K. Guardian's "Books for Giving"

Local pick: Jennifer McLagan's The Odd Bits (publisher: Ten Speed Press).

HuffPo's best cookbooks of 2011

Local pick: Hank Shaw's Hunt, Gather, Cook (technically, Shaw's from the Sacramento area, but that's within the locavore zone)

SF Chronicle's list of present-worthy cookbooks

Local picks: Ryan Farr's Whole Beast Butchery, plus a host of other local cookbooks published earlier in the year

* On a personal note, SFoodie cooks from this one constantly.

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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